The Last Arcade – When We Were Young

ArtistThe Last Arcade

Song: When We Were Young

Genres: #altpop #synthwave

Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom

Release date: June, 2021.

Comment: Synthpop bands are quite popular nowadays, but very few of those bands can actually stand out. If their debut single, When We Were Young, is an indication, I think that The Last Arcade will be one of them. It helps to have band members with plenty of experience in the music industry: lead singer Steve McNally had some hits in the early 2000’s as a member of the band BBMak; rhythm guitarist and songwriter has even supported Bryan Adams, among others, on tour; and producer and songwriter Steve Erickson has been creating music since the early 1990’s. All in all, it is clear that they know what they are doing and we should pay attention.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Still Charles – Wembley

Artist: Still Charles

Song: Wembley

Genres: #indiepop #indierock

Location: Milano, Italy

Release date: May, 2021.

Comment: Wembley is a stunning single by Italian artist Carlo Aprea, aka Still Charles. The song is sang in Italian but it’s so good that you will enjoy it even if you couldn’t understand a single word (for the record, you should be able to catch at least a few words). Carlo says that Wembley, which he wrote during quarantine, is a love story told from beginning to end, inspired by a real relationship he had that ended because both of them were too proud. The track was produced by Riccardo Foresi, whom Carlo met in June 2020. Wembley has a beautiful music video as well that looks like a movie and that you can watch below. I hope you enjoy Wembley as much as I do. It’s quite a gem.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

School of Seven Bells – Ablaze

Artist: School of Seven Bells

Song: Ablaze

Genres: #indiepop #dreampop

Location: New York City, United States

Release date: February, 2016

Comment: The story of School of Seven Bells (SVIIB) is, sadly, a tragic one. It was formed in 2007 by sisters Alejandra Deheza (vocals, guitar) and Claudia Deheza (keyboards, vocals), and Benjamin Curtis (guitar, synthesizers, vocals), but then Claudia left the band in 2010. Unfortunately, Ben, who was Alejandra’s romantic partner, died in 2013 from sudden-onset lymphoma and, as a tribute, Alejandra took some demos Ben had written prior and during his illness and completed the band’s fourth and last studio album, SVIIB, which was released in February, 2016. It is a wonderful album which, despite the circumstances in which it was created, is actually full of hope and even joy.

To me, the best among a collection of great songs is Ablaze, the first track. It’s a cleverly produced song that features Alejandra’s ethereal vocals and sweet lyrics that become even more beautiful knowing the context in which they were written. If you are only going to listen to one SVIIB song, listen to Ablaze, this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry. You will be happy you did so.

As a bonus, I’m leaving below the link to the video of SVIIB’s cover of Joey Ramone’s I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up) (it is not available on streaming platforms). It was written by Alejandra and Ben quite literally while they were ‘sitting in a hospital bed’ and released just before SVIIB.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Aonian – Hideout

Artist: Aonian

Song: Hideout

Genres: #chillout #electronic

Location: London, United Kingdom

Release date: April, 2021.

Comment: As suggested by his moniker, Aonian (real name: Alkis Livathinos) is originally from Greece and you can certainly perceive a Greek influence in his music. This London-based electronic music musician has composed pieces for brands such as Louis Vuitton and will soon release his debut full album. A problem I have with electronic and chill-out music is that many of the tracks tend to sound similar to each other but that’s not the case with Hideout, Aonian‘s second single. This piece is testimony of the artist’s talent and creativity. Listening to it will transport you to a beach bar in Mykonos.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Holly Humberstone – The Walls Are Way Too Thin

Artist: Holly Humberstone

Song: The Walls Are Way Too Thin

Genres: #indiepop

Location: United Kingdom

Release date: May, 2021

Influences: Phoebe Bridgers, Damien Rice

Comment: Holly Humberstone is a young and immensely talented British artist who in just over one year has managed to make a name for herself in the alternative pop scene. She’s preparing to release her sophomore EP in November, whose lead single is the eponymously titled The Walls Are Way Too Thin. She wrote this song after moving to a small flat in London and it is a catchy piece of “dark pop”. If you were not aware of Holly Humberstone before, write her name down. This won’t be the last time you hear it.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Sixpence None The Richer – Kiss Me

Artist: Sixpence None The Richer

Song: Kiss Me

Genres: #alternativerock #poprock

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Release date: August, 1998.

Comment: Kiss Me is a beautiful ballad that made Christian alternative rock band Sixpence None The Richer famous not only across the United States but also around the world. It peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one in the Australian and Canadian charts. It was all well-deserved because this sweet song is quite a gem. Enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Volts – Glass Walls

Artist: Volts

Song: Glass Walls

Genres: #AlternativeRock

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Release date: April, 2021.

Comment: Possibly the first Kiwi band to be featured here, Volts are ready to be heard globally. Glass Walls, a fast-paced, hook-ridden alternative rock track about Imposter Syndrome, is their second single off their forthcoming debut album, to be released later this year. Unless you hate radio-friendly tunes, do check them out. They’re really good.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Caroline Romano – The Hypothetical

Artist: Caroline Romano

Song: The Hypothetical

Genres: #PunkRock, #PopPunk

Location: Nashville, United States

Release date: July, 2021.

Comment: 19-year-old Nashville-based artist Caroline Romano has just dropped this pop-punk banger that sounds really refreshing. She’s young but wise beyond her years and you just have to listen to The Hypothetical to know that she’s going places. No doubt.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Steve Luck – The Haven

Artist: Steve Luck

Song: The Haven

Genres: #Instrumental, #Neoclassical, #Piano

Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom

Release date: April, 2021.

Influences: Yann Tiersen, Ólafur Arnalds

Comment: The Haven is a hauntingly beautiful neoclassical piano piece named after the house in Northumberland where its composer, Steve Luck, spent most of his childhood holidays. This British artist has been composing and releasing music since 2014 and will release an album in October. Definitely keep him on your radar. In the meantime, enjoy the tenderness of this nostalgic piece.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

TZEJAX & Suhasini – Love To Go

Artist: TZEJAX featuring Suhasini

Song: Love To Go

Genres: #electronicmusic

Location: New Delhi, India

Release date: April, 2021.

Comment: Love To Go is an extremely catchy and uplifting song with a positive message about accepting all kinds of love (as shown by the video below). TZEJAX is a music producer and professional DJ from New Delhi, India, and for this track he got help from fellow Indian artist Suhasini Khattar. Check this tune out. It will light up your weekend.